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Virtual Environment Storage Poses Unique Data Recovery Risks

While nearly 90 percent of IT professionals surveyed at VMworld 2010 reported their organizations are storing data in a virtual environment, a third of respondents admitted their organization has not updated or they do not know if it has updated its data loss and/or business continuity plan to account for new storage mediums such as virtual storage, according to a survey Kroll Ontrack conducted on the show floor at VMworld from August 30th – September 1st.

This survey provided insight into if and how IT professionals are managing data in a virtual environment. Nearly 150 IT professionals participated in this in-person survey, which consisted of separate questionnaires to capture the unique perspectives of virtual environment and non-virtual environment users.

Key findings indicate that of the 90 percent of respondents that reported storing data in a virtual environment, 27 percent have experienced data loss from that environment.

When asked about how their organization responds to data loss, only 24 percent were confident in their organization’s response. The majority of respondents (71 percent) reported that their IT team handles all their organization’s data loss incidents, while only 8 percent seek assistance form a third-party data expert.

Virtualization adds an additional layer of complexity, particularly when data loss occurs since the amount of data stored in a virtual environment is exponentially more than the amount stored on a single, physical server. Attempting a do-it-yourself data recovery in this instance can prove fatal and render vital data irrecoverable based on this increased complexity. The immediate timeframe after the loss occurs is incredibly important as it can make or break the chances of a successful retrieval. Instead of making rushed decisions, it is best to take a step back and assess the amount and value of the information stored in the virtual environment. Then, make the informed decision as to whether the best course of action is to contact an expert.

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